Denmark has become the first country to halt its Covid-19 vaccination programme after the virus was declared under control by national health authorities.
According to the Danish Health Authority, the government will no longer issue vaccination invitations after 15 May but health officials expect to resume the programme after the summer, reports The Telegraph.
High vaccination rates, a decline in the number of new infections, and stable hospitalisation rates, all contributed to the decision to halt the national immunisation programme, added the health ministry.
Denmark's government became the first in the EU to lift all pandemic-related domestic restrictions on 1 February, announcing that the virus was no longer regarded a serious threat.
Around 81 percent of Denmark's 5.8 million residents have received two doses of the vaccine, with another 62 percent receiving a booster shot.
Bolette Soborg, Denmark's chief physician, said, "We plan to reopen the vaccination programme in the autumn. This will be preceded by a thorough professional assessment of who and when to vaccinate and with which vaccines."
Tyra Grove Krause, director of infection preparedness at Denmark's infectious diseases agency SSI, had previously dismissed the effect of even severe restrictions.
The country had lifted its social restrictions in September 2021 before a wave of Omicron infections swept over it two months later, forcing its museums, cinemas, theatres, and concert venues to close ahead of Christmas.
The government intensified its immunisation campaign as a result, but by February had resolved to lift restrictions again.
Experts supported the government's decision, saying overwhelmed hospitals trumped personal health as a concern for Danes.
"With omicron, it is impossible to stop the spread of infection," Grove Krause said.